Outdoor Experience Hiking Trip

Vermont is a special place. The Outdoor Experience is geared toward UVM students who value the connection to the world beyond our halls. 

This community fosters a space for continual development of self, teamwork, and leadership in an inclusive environment free of the presence and influence of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs.



Throughout your time in this residential learning community, you will explore various parts of Vermont, cultivate a wider understanding of what is included in the phrase “Outdoor Experience,” and hopefully create and maintain meaningful connections with your peers, mentors, and Vermont outdoors along the way.

  • All new first-time, first-year students in the Outdoor Experience Learning Community will be enrolled in the one-credit class Vermont Outdoor Experience (PRT 096), and are expected to commit to Community Expectations, keeping alcohol, marijuana, other drugs—and their influence—out of our community.
  • Students placed Outdoor Experience will have the option to apply for an enhanced experience. If admitted, students will receive additional benefits, including special programming options, leadership opportunities, and possibly an option to enroll in a seminar and earn credit.


Whether you are seeking to explore the outdoors for the first time, or you already are “one with nature” and quickly jump into outdoor activities, the Outdoor Experience fosters a space for continual development of self-awareness, teamwork, and leadership in an inclusive community.

The Outdoor Experience is designed to appeal to students who are interested in learning about and engaging with the outdoors, with a focus on the natural environment of Burlington and Vermont. It is our intent that this will appeal to a broad range of students, from students with little-to-no previous outdoor experience, to students who already engage deeply in outdoor activities. We offer a number of community gatherings, presentations, workshops, guided activities and self-designed experiences, all of which are intended to build a diverse and engaged community of students, encourage self-discovery and teamwork, and promote development of leadership skills.

Each member of Outdoor Experience brings in a unique set of attributes, and when positively contributed, lends to the success of the community. As we grow and explore individually and as a community, recognizing these values means we must place special attention on actions that can be disruptive. We must be considerate of individuals’ needs and be respectful of our home and throughout all environments in which we travel. Stewardship starts at home as a way to practice and live with integrity.

Students will:

  • Become engaged in a variety of outdoor recreation activities and places throughout Burlington and Vermont.
  • Experience and reflect upon the positive beneficial outcomes of balanced and diverse recreational lifestyles.
  • Be introduced to principles of land management, community development, and planning for positive recreational experiences.
  • Work to foster a space for continual self-awareness, awareness of others experiences and needs, teamwork, and outdoor leadership in an inclusive community
  • Additionally, as part of their commitment to uphold Community Expectations, all first-year students in Outdoor Experience will receive free membership to the Wright Fitness Center.


  • Exploring the Burlington Waterfront and Various Burlington Parks
  • Hike Mt. Philo
  • Full Moonlight Hike
  • Kayaking at Sailing Center
  • Yoga at the Beach
  • Mountain Biking Overnights
  • Camping
  • Apple-Picking
  • Gleaning at the Intervale
  • Ropes Course
  • Catamountain Classic
  • Outdoor Film Festivals
  • Rock-Climbing



For a deeper dive, we invite students placed in this learning community to explore these Outdoor Experience options.


Locations for 2018-2019: Coolidge, Redstone, Slade, Wright

Please check your housing contract for more specific location information.


Tahn Lemish

Tahn Lemish
Area Coordinator
Marty Burrows
Progam Director
Walter KuentzelWalter Kuentzel
Faculty Director


What excites us about The Outdoor Experience? We love seeing students be able to get off campus and experience areas of Vermont that are new for them. Expanding everyone’s definition of what it means to be in the outdoors, in ways as simple as sitting under a tree.

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